Ground Rules When Working From Home

With schools announcing a delay of in-person education, parents are starting to realize the kitchen barstool may no longer suffice as a suitable office environment.

Gauging from what we’ve heard, parents working from home can be placed into three categories. Either you’ve mastered the art of WFH and even have pointers to give; or these past few months have given you confidence some days, while other days you dream about a secret room covered by a hidden bookshelf. Or perhaps, you’re now just realizing change is in immediate order if you want to have a productive third quarter. Whatever bucket you find yourself in, looking for outside help that can take care of the extra “tasks” can be a complete game changer for your productivity. As DispatchMom plans to launch next week, we hope we can alleviate your worries, as well as provide a few tips to inspire your confidence.

1. Maintain Regular Business Hours

You’re expected to be at work by 9. Similarly, commit to sitting at your desk at the same time. Of course, you wouldn’t be taking advantage of the WFH perks if you didn’t move your schedule around occasionally. Use tools such as RescueTime to avoid procrastinating too long, while maintaining some discipline.

2. Set Family Guidelines

If the kids are done a few hours before you finish up from work, make it clear when they can enter the work premises. Communicate with your caretaker or significant other where you will be and the best way to get a hold of you to avoid disruptions and keep a peace of mind.

3. De-Focus and Refocus with Walk Breaks

10 am and 2 pm routine walks around the block can do wonders for your productivity. Not a suburban house dweller? Stairs, a rowing machine, fold some laundry; do anything that gets your blood flowing.

4. Over Communicate

A lot can get lost in translation when you and 15 other colleagues can’t meet in the break room or find yourself fighting for 30-seconds of mic time on Zoom. Monday morning intention emails and Friday evening recaps can help everyone stay on the same page. The goal is to keep colleagues informed about progress on projects and timelines.

5. Socialize with Colleagues

Loneliness and isolation have been common problems over the past few months; but you can find ways to solve that. Creative chat channels used for non-work related topics such as common interests and topics that may add a little humor to your day. Sharing a ridiculous happenstance or even inspiring others with a heartfelt story can do wonders for your health.

Overall, be aware of the routines that can slow you down and find ways to mix it up. Reach out to an old friend – or new – you may just be surprised the benefits you’ll gain from a little extra human connection.

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